What is the difference between Hemp & Marijuana?

At cannabidolpharm we strive to embrace Hemp's relation to the Cannabis family whilst educating customers on their differences and properties.

Without sufficient understanding, we find that people often associate Hemp derived CBD products with generic Cannabis & it's intoxicating effects (Caused by THC). In these circumstances, individuals are reluctant to use or try CBD and therefore remain oblivious to the role it has in our body.

In this article we will discuss the distinction between Hemp & common Cannabis/Marijuana.



We start with the most obvious, appearance. Despite having some similarities, Marijuana & Hemp are most easily identified by their structure and development.

Hemp often grows particularly tall and thin with narrow leaves and loose flowers. As Hemp has far less Trichomes (resin glands containing Cannabinoids & Terpenes) the aroma is more subtle and earthy.

Hemp used for CBD oil products uk

Cannabis/Skunk on the other hand is usually shorter with broader leaves & forms much denser flowers (commonly known as buds). On the other hand, some Sativa dominant Marijuana strains posses many visual similarities to industrial Hemp. Due to their vast quantities of Trichomes, Cannabis & Skunk commonly has a particularly strong aroma. 


 Cannabis Buds


Here's where things begin to get a little more complicated.

In the Cannabis world, there are 3 main categories of plant - Sativa, Indica & Canadian Ruderalis. Each of which are believed to have their own properties and characteristics. Depending on the growing environments & specific genetic combinations, Cannabinoid contents can vary greatly. 

Generic Cannabis/Marijuana can be a member or combination of any of these categories - Hemp on the other hand can only be a member of the Sativa family. The most well known type of Hemp is Cannabis Sativa L.

Types of Cannabis plants


Here we touch on the most important topic of this article, Chemical composition. 

There are Hundreds of Chemicals or Cannabinoids found in the Cannabis family, all of which have their own effects.The most famous of which are THC, CBD, CBC, CBN & CBG. 

Although all Cannabis plants contain combinations of these chemicals, it is the ratio and percentages that defines their effects. 

Marijuana is known for it's high concentration of THC which is famous for it's strong psychoactive effects. In this case, the THC content can vary anywhere between 5% & 30%. Consequently, Marijuana is most commonly used for recreational purposes. It is important to note that this type of Cannabis can also contains CBD but usually to a far lesser degree.

On the other hand, Hemp proves to have a particularly high percentage of CBD whilst maintaining minuscule levels of THC. This allows individuals to seek the therapeutic benefits of Cannabis without any intoxicating effects. Despite it's potential influence on mood & thought regulation, Hemp possesses no recreational value. 

 Studies on the Cannabinoid contents of types of cannabis



The legality and perception of each of these Chemicals is what makes the UK's legal Cannabis industry possible. While there are a few grey areas, Hemp cultivation & Hemp derived products are generally considered Legal if it contain less than 0.2% THC. To do so however, one must acquire the appropriate permits and authorisation. 

Generic Cannabis or Skunk however is still considered a class B drug. It is not permitted to cultivate or consume.